New agreement limits Dayton International Airport taxi service to one company

Dayton International Airport control tower. (WDTN Photo/Neil Black)
Dayton International Airport control tower. (WDTN Photo/Neil Black)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton International Airport is limiting its taxi service to one company, forcing others that operate there to find business elsewhere. Some of the drivers aren’t happy about the decision and say it could force them out of business.

Currently, about 9 other cab companies have cars stationed at the airport, waiting in line for their next ride. But soon, drivers from Dayton Express Cab Company will be the only ones able to pick up fares to and from the airport.

“The cab drivers. They disagree with this decision,” cab driver Omar Odeh said. “It’s not fair.”

Drivers like Omar Odeh will no longer be able operate at the airport under the new agreement.

“We have no other business,” Odeh said. “We serve the airport for like 15 years, by myself. And most of them 10 to 15 years. We work hard.”

That hard work will soon come to an end. Starting June 1st, only drivers with Dayton Express Cab Company will be able to operate at the airport.

City of Dayton Aviation Director Terry Slaybaugh says they decided to limit service to one company because of increased customer complaints.

“The primary reason we are doing,” Slaybaugh said. “That is we want to try and raise the level of customer service.”

The new agreement will not impact ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Those companies pay the City of Dayton a fee to operate at the airport, separate from the cab companies. The city says it chose Dayton Express to solely operate at the airport because it was the only company that provided all required documents and met minimum standards.

Odeh doesn’t feel the selection process was fair.

Jordan: “They’re worried they’re going to out of business. What do you say to them?
Slaybaugh: “Well, again our primary mission at the airport is to run the airport.”

City Commissioners approved the new regulations at Wednesday’s City Commission meeting. Going forward, Odeh says he’s not sure what he’ll do to make up for the loss in business.

“We have family,” Odeh said. “We have kids. We are American citizens. We live here. We don’t know any other city. Please, somebody with the power needs to stop this.”

As part of new agreement, all cabs will have be no older than two years and all drivers will  have to be in approved attire. We asked what the complaints were about the other cab companies. Slaybaugh mentioned faulty credit card readers, but didn’t give other specifics.

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